South Dakota Legislative Session set to begin Tuesday

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PIERRE, South Dakota (KTIV) –  In just 40 days, South Dakota lawmakers will have to tackle balancing a budget as well as a number of other issues facing the state.

The session will gavel into session at noon Tuesday.

As for what she is expected to talk about?

Siouxland lawmakers say they are not entirely sure.

“This will be my third term so this isn’t completely new to me so, you know, you’re always kind of apprehensive,” said Sen. Arthur Rusch, (R) Vermillion, SD. “It will be different because we have a new governor and what her priorities will be and how she’s going to approach dealing with the legislature will be something that’s completely different.”

The State of the State will be the kick off for the entire legislative session for 2019.

South Dakota has a short session, just 40 days.

But lawmakers hope to pack a lot into that time frame.

“We really need to work on needs-based scholarships in South Dakota,” says Rep. Raymond Ring, (D) Vermillion, SD. “We’re about the only state left that provides very little state aid for scholarships for low-income higher education scholarships for low-income students and I really think that we need to be doing that.”

That’s not the only issue lawmakers are hoping to take on.

Ring says he would like to see more done with Medicaid.

“We still haven’t expanded Medicaid in South Dakota and that would be a way of extending insurance, health insurance to somewhere between 30 and 50 thousand for South Dakotans,” says Ring.

And, as always, balancing the budget will be a top priority for lawmakers.

“The budget will always be a big issue and you know, we don’t really know, we never know how much money we’re going to bring in a year from now,” says Rusch.

KTIV’s Ashly Richardson will be covering the opening day the 2019 South Dakota Session. You can follow her coverage on Twitter.

Ashly Richardson

Ashly Richardson

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